The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 03, 1993, Page 5, Image 5

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    Living well away from the edge
I’ve been 20 for almost a year
now, and it just occurred to me.
I’m no longer a teen-ager.
It probably should have hit me
sooner, but it’s been a busy nine
months. I’ve had more to think about
than the end of my glory years.
It’s not that I mind leaving my teen
years behind me. I don’t. For the most
part, they sucked rocks.
But I don’t know if they were
really bad in and of themselves — or
ifljustdidn’t take advantage of them.
I don’t think I lived them to their
fullest potential.
I experienced only the lamest as
pects of adolescence — the mood
swings and the acne. I didn’t do any of
the good stuff.
I never smoked cigs in the corner
stall of the ladies’ room or got drunk
under the bleachers at a football game.
1 never wore spiked jewelry or dated
a tobacco-chewing biker just to tick
off my mom.
Darn it, ! never rebelled.
When 1 was supposed to be prac
ticing my rebel yell, I was saying “I’m
sorry if I’ve disappointed you” over
and over to my trigonometry teacher.
I never sulked or swore or gratu
itously tortured small animals like
frogs and kittens.
High school was fun, but I missed
out on so much angst. Angst. Just
typing that word makes me feel like
James Dean.
Maybe my mistake was hanging
out with the wrong sort of people —
overachievers and people who went
to church on a regular basis.
Saying no to alcohol, drugs, irre
sponsible sex and most other tradi
tional outlets of adolescent wackiness
forced us to find creative ways to act
Mostly we drank liters of
caffcinated beverages and then re
fused sleep until we were delirious.
You can only live that lifestyle for so
long, though, before you burn out.
It’s been years since I could touch
a Coca-Cola Classic without getting
When I was supposed to be
practicing my rebel yell, I was
saying Tm sorry if I’ve disap
pointed you” over and over to
my trigonometry teacher.
After a really wild weekend, I might
even put my homework off until Sun
day night. Live hard, die young.
But I never did anything that I can
blow out of proportion and tell my
grandchildren about. 1 still don’t.
I guess I jaywalk ... a lot. And l
cheat at miniature golf and Monopo
ly. But that doesn’t make for good
oral tradition.
Maybe I’m being presumptuous,
assuming that I’ll actually mate some
day. But if I do have children and
grandchildren, I don’t want to have to
tell them about the time I got really
wild and made a left turn without
using my blinker.
The trouble with crime and rebel
lion is you can’t do it without hurting
somebody. Rebellious and criminal
acts are usually considered such be
cause they’re harmful.
1 may want to be a rebel, but I don’t
want to ruin someone’s life, or even
their mailbox. There’s nothing left
that’s socially unacceptable for no
good reason.
Especially if you’re a girl. I grew
my hair out and pierced my ears three
times. Nobody even blinked.
I don’t want to be forever branded
as a Bad Girl, but I wouldn’t mind if
people thought I was a tiny bit wicked
every now and then.
And I’d like it if those bands of
rock-throwing small children would
stop follow ing me around and scream
ing “Goody Two-Shoes.”
Why, I wonder, is being bad so
Maybe I’d be more content with
my uneventful benevolence ifl hadn’t
watched “Grease” somany times. Year
after year, like clockwork, it appears
on network television, and year after
year, 1 watch.
Sandra Dee, the consummate Aus
tralian virgin, wins the hearts of ev
eryone at Rydell High by being sweet
and good and pure.
The Pink Ladies tease her for a
little while, but after a while they see
that being a prude beats unplanned
pregnancy or beauty school.
To top it off, the man of her dreams
leaves his torrid past behind him, goes
out for track and sings through his
And then, what should be a huge
victory for nice girls everywhere, goes
suddenly wrong, very wrong, when
Sandy shows up in leather pants at the
end of the movie, badly permed and
wearing ojJfcn-tocd spike heels.
Sandy, my darling, you hurt me
real bad. You know it’s true. Just
when I thought that the nice gal was
finally going to carry the day, you
turned into a “Solid Gold” dancer.
Thus, the evil media socialized me
to have an unnatural desire for bad
ness ... and an unnatural desire to look
like Olivia Newton-John.
Rowell is a junior news-editorial, adver
tising and English major and a Daily Nebras
kan columnist.
1-800-AH A-USA1
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©1993, American Heart Association
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